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Frame Parts & Bushings

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What are body mounts and bushings and where are they located?

Body mounts connect a vehicle’s frame or subframe to its body. Body mount bushings are rubber or polyurethane pieces that buffer between the body and the frame. They dampen vibrations to give a smooth ride to you and your passengers. 

There are two main types of automotive body design: body-on-frame and unibody. Body-on-frame construction was used on older passenger cars and is still used today on trucks and SUVs. In body-on-frame designs, there is a ladder frame that holds the suspension and drivetrain parts. The vehicle body or the truck’s cab and bed are set on top of the frame. The body is attached to the frame by the body mounts.

Unibody construction is used on most passenger cars produced today. In unibody designs, the body is made of stamped steel and contains cross members that give it support. The body and frame are integrated into one item. The engine, steering, and suspension parts, though, are held by a subframe. The subframe is connected to the body by the body mounts. 

In either case, the body mounts are what hold everything together. The bushings provide vibration dampening to smooth the ride, and they keep metal components from rubbing on each other. 

Radiator bushings are related parts that play a similar role. Radiator bushings separate the radiator from the metal support core it sits on. They protect the radiator from engine vibrations. Your radiator will sit on top of a pair of radiator bushings. Some vehicles will have a second set that buffers the radiator where it attaches at the top. 

How do I know if my body mounts and bushings need to be replaced?

Like any rubber component, body mount bushings can wear out over time. The rubber can become worn, cracked, or brittle. Exposure to different chemicals, harsh cleaners, gasoline, etc., can also cause premature wear and failure as well. This will hinder the bushings’ ability to dampen vibrations. You may notice vibration from the engine inside the passenger compartment. 

The mounts themselves can be susceptible to rust and wear, which will make them loose. In extreme cases, this may lead to clunking noises as the body shifts against the frame. This risks damage to other parts of the vehicle and can throw the suspension out of alignment. If the clunking is left untreated too long, you may see body scratches, dents, or cracks (in the case of a fiberglass body).  

If you have a vibration problem that you think is caused by bad body mounts or bushings, a visual inspection of the parts can be the surest and easiest way to identify if they’re worn. 

Radiator bushings can become worn or brittle just like body mount bushings. This will lead to radiator vibration that you might be able to hear from inside the car. A vibrating radiator may suffer damage, or have its hoses come loose and develop leaks. As with body mount bushings, the best way to identify radiator bushing wear is via visual inspection. 

Can I replace body mounts and bushings myself?

Replacing body mounts or their bushings can be a big job, but is within the grasp of an accomplished do-it-yourselfer. To get at the mounts and bushings you will have to separate the body from the frame or subframe. In the case of a body-on-frame vehicle, you’ll have to jack up the body. In the case of a unibody vehicle, you’ll want to jack up the subframe. In either case, you should put a piece of wood onto the jack to distribute the weight. This helps prevent damaging the body or the subframe. Also keep in mind that there will still be wires and hoses connected to the two sections. So, don’t jack anything up too far. Then you can go about unbolting the mounts one at a time, and bolting on the new ones, using new bushings. Be sure to tighten all the bolts to the amount of torque recommended for your particular vehicle in the owner’s manual.

Replacing radiator bushings is a bit more straightforward. You will have to raise the radiator off of the supports, which will involve separating the hoses from the radiator. Then you can pull off the old bushings by hand, put in the new ones, and put everything back into place.

Need replacement body mounts and bushings?

If you are in need of replacement body mounts and/or bushings for your vehicle, then you have come to the right place. At 1A Auto, you will find a large selection of aftermarket body mounts and bushings, as well as radiator bushings, for many makes and models, and at great prices. These replacement body mounts and bushings are just what you need to keep your vehicle in good working order.

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for replacement body mounts and bushings for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right parts for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our mounts and bushings, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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